Sports & Recreation
80: Steve Johnson- Founder/CEO of LegKickNation
This episode is brought to you by baseballcloud.
In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I welcome Steve Johnson, Founder/CEO of LegKickNation. We discuss Steve’s method of rejecting the model of the ‘teacher king’ in order to foster a curiosity-provoking learning environment in which students take responsibility for their own progress, as well as how he teaches methods to reach the state of ‘flow’. We also discuss the practical details of teaching in this new mode and ways to apply them to baseball.
Guest: Steve Johnson, teacher and coach, Team Invictus
A love of learning brought Steve to teaching as well as coaching
Traditional compartmentalized teaching a flawed system
Without underlying, no purpose or autonomy
Leaning on teachers too much diminishes student accountability
The importance of curiosity
How do we foster curiosity?
Community-based instruction facility
Challenging kids in diverse areas, not just athletics
Allowed to learn from failures as well as success
Instructors serve as “bumpers in bowling alley”; helping and guiding but not controlling everything a kid is doing
How to create an environment where kids can be creative
More formal games these days, but less unstructured play has negative consequences
The importance of kids becoming independent problem-solvers
Flow: being ‘in the zone’, a sense of timelessness and selflessness
Easier to achieve it in other sports because of the pace of baseball
Maintaining singular focus
Processing information in the box hampers performance
Not being hung up on failures or self-consciousness
Micro-flow vs Macro-flow
Assessment of student athlete
Physical, collecting data, seeing how kids learn and react
How does a student learn without the authority of the ‘teacher king’?
The learning goals come from the kids
How to have kids express their desire honestly?
Not having Mom and Dad around tends to help
Establishing a rapport
Advice for those wanting to open a similar facility?
Membership vs per lesson model
Vision of better you rather than just better ball player
Culture of holistic learning rather than focus solely on baseball
How to allow a student to own their own learning?
Knowing when to address something and when to back off
A hands off approach allows kids to make their own learning decisions and goals
Some kids need more direction than others
Techniques to grow the ability to flow
The influence and importance of body language and psychology on performance
Physical and Mental Coaching Constraints
How to clean up a negative attack angle
Using data, video
The possibilities of applying educationally-based books to athletics education
3 Key Points:
‘Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience’ by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
‘The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance’ by Steven Kotler
‘The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance’ by W. Timothy Gallwey
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